*STOP CRIMINALIZING DISSENT!*
We strongly condemn the decision to deny bail to Safoora Zargar, an MPhil student at Jamia Milia Islamia, a member of the JCC and among the strongest voices of women students in the university. Safoora’s bail has been denied irrespective of the inability to provide concrete evidence of any connection with the Delhi violence, on the basis that there is prima facie evidence to show that there was “a conspiracy to at least blockade the road”. The order goes on to cite Sec 339 of the IPC stating wrongful restraint of a person to be an offence and Sec 141(3) stating an assembly of people with its common intent to be to commit an offence as unlawful. Putting two and two together, *by the courts logic, we have before us not a young woman student activist protesting against injustice, but a hardened criminal, a conspirator, a threat to the nation.*
Significant grounds for bail also exist due to Safoora’s health condition, who is 21 weeks pregnant and suffers from polycystic ovary syndrome posing a threat of miscarriage due to lack of adequate health care. However it is unfortunate that *the potential loss of a life and the health of an expectant mother are being given little consideration in the matter despite the inadequate and lopsided evidence being presented by the police.*
While Safoora has been arrested for hatching a “conspiracy”, the Delhi Police has arrested 20 others for killing two Muslim brothers, Hashim Ali and Amir Ali. The brothers were murdered on their way home on 25th February, when they were stopped by a Hindu mob, thrashed, stabbed, stripped naked and had their bodies dumped in a drain in North-East Delhi. These men were part of a Whatsapp group called “Kattar Hindu” in which they discussed “taking revenge on Muslims”. Delhi Police has registered a case of riot, arson and murder against them. However, they have not been booked for “criminal conspiracy to start a riot” or promoting enmity on ground of religion, as many anti-CAA activists have been. The two different standards being applied to these cases raise serious questions as to what kind of intent is more criminal and conspiratorial in the eyes of the law today.
Safoora, clearly a victim of the aggression of Hindutva forces, has already been subjected to a vicious patriarchal and Islamaphobic campaign run on social media, and is being denied basic human rights and dignity. We stand with her in these challenging times, and demand that she be given bail immediately.
We condemn the excessively harsh and baseless charges put on Muslim activists and other Anti-CAA NRC NPR protestors, and demand that a fair investigation be conducted that reveals the real perpetrators of Delhi violence.
CONDEMN CHARGES UNDER UAPA ON DEVANGANA!
STOP VICTIMIZING STUDENT ACTIVISTS AND PEACEFUL PROTESTERS USING FALSE CHARGES AND DRACONIAN LAWS!
In continuation of the ongoing attack on students’ and democratic voices, UAPA charges have now been put on Devangana Kalita, JNU student and Pinjratod activist. *This is the fourth FIR hoisted on Devangana* after her arrest, with each new FIR putting ever severe charges. She has now been charged in FIR 59/20, which also names Umar Khalid, Ishrat Jahan, Khalid Saifi, Safoora Zargar, Gulfisha, Natasha and others accused of hatching a “conspiracy” to unleash riots in Delhi. All these activists and many others have languished in jail for months already, even as new names continue to be added to the list.
After the denial of bail to Safoora Zargar yesterday, this move by the state makes it clear that student activists are being incarcerated and piled with draconian laws for their participation in peaceful protests and solidarity with social movements defending Constitutional rights and posing a challenge to divisive policies being pursued by the present regime. The use of conspiracy to falsely frame protesters despite repeated remarks by courts on the inadequacy of evidence is extremely worrying. This not only reveals the vulnerability of everyone expressing any opinion contrary to the state but also undermines the very spirit of a democratic political system.
We condemn this move by the Delhi Police. We demand that all these false charges on student activists and other anti CAA protesters be immediately withdrawn, all activists jailed for participation in peaceful protests be immediately released and the real culprits of the Delhi pogrom be investigated and action taken against them.
Jhooth par jhooth se imarat khadi nahin hoti,
Toot jayengi , awaazein jo uth chuki hain!